The Railways has decided to approach the Supreme Court to defend its scheme, Liberalised Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS), which was been halted in the wake of a Punjab and Haryana High Court order.
An Indian Express report quoted an official source as saying, “The Railways has stopped an employment initiative launched in 2004, when it started giving jobs to children of employees in the lower tier in return for voluntary retirement, and decided to approach the Supreme Court to determine if the scheme is Constitutionally tenable.”
The official reportedly said that the High Court’s order has put the government in a quandary while in the past, the High Courts of Kerala and Patna had found merit in the scheme. The official told the paper, “Since there are different judgments on the same issue across India, we want to approach the Supreme Court and get a verdict once and for all.”
Last month, the Railway ministry had suspended the scheme in all its zones stating “Keep LARSGESS on hold till further orders.”
The Railways took the step after Punjab and Haryana High Court in July 2017, after hearing a case over against LARSGESS, directed that it violated the Constitution on the “principle of equal opportunity” for all in the government jobs.
The court further directed the Railways to “revisit the offending policy keeping in view the principle of equal opportunity in public employment….”
LARSGESS was launched in 2004 under rule of former railway minister Nitish Kumar. It was framed to cover drivers and gangmen on the consideration that with the advancing age physical fitness and reflexes of the employee of these categories deteriorate thereby causing a safety hazard. Read More